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SurVision Magazine

An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.

Issue Six



Images Blaze in the Pickle Jar

Did the Vikings invent surrealism? No, they did not. But the parallels are significant. The Vikings may not have invented surrealism, any more than they invented the predations of neoliberal economics destroying the communities of the world, but the affinities are there. Cultural paradigms come & go, but the forces of the imagination are as universal as fire, as elemental as water, & as fabulous as the speech of birds. These are the campaign funds, not the greenhouse. I have language to do & a coconut to throw. Currents of science fiction blossom at the periphery. The only real remedy for distance is the trajectory of remorse, which goes to Borneo and back, bubbling along like a hideous sweater with Darth Vader on it.
     My god the drugs people take to feel a little more comfortable, a little more adjusted. There's a power in me that drools with the meat of a thousand televisions. I cry to plaster the wall with Corot. I'm engorged with sexual memories. The seashore has no glue. It's what you do in old age. I'm hanging from my brain blooming words like a savannah. This is key to understanding the splash of words at the airport. The underlying integrity of a raspberry. Even the honey makes a claim for better transparency. The dream is to one day achieve Welsh and keep the party rocking till the break of dawn. Metal sparrows flash neon in confirmation of our powerful weakness. This vaccine, this wood, this old truck bouncing on a dirt road somewhere in Africa.
     Funny thing to do in the morning: brush my hair. Sweep those bristles over my head and put everything into order. Become presentable. Less savage in my appearance. Who doesn't love a little hygiene? Perception isn't everything. Consider damp basements, the clutter of thought crawling around in my brain like a full-blown syzygy. There's a crustacean on the ceiling. It's why I carry my hair around on my head. It's never been like this before. That is to say, I feel hung up and I don't know why. Butterflies tie my shoes while the sky drags itself over a toothpick. And yes, I believe in heavy metal. I think it's important to assume a romantic position & bounce sidewalks off my tongue until a trumpet of sunlight comes gushing out of my mouth.
     If you're here, present to these words, ingesting them, it means you have eyeballs, a biology. So do I. It's a fundamental fact of our existence. Hormones, glands, chromosomes. Goo. And bones. Which begins to decay almost immediately. Pretty much after the prom. It's a sad situation. Or do I mean futile? I rub ghosts out of my mouth. I feel insults in my reality. But I'm still religious. At least about pickles. Pickles are holy. Because death is a private affair and pickles make it looser. Like a club sandwich. This very minute your eyes are holding these words together. Usually this is done by hydrolysis. Where am I headed with this? Images blaze in the pickle jar.

The Field of Variegated Winds

The rock is a circus of limestone. Therefore, I'm feeling glass. The distance to this emotion is rolling toward its pennies like an oyster shaking its face with a genuine agitation. My life is spread out on the floor. There's a murder on my lip and it just seems usual, like an encyclopedia. And yes, there's an afterlife. It's an oasis delivered by elves at midnight. Other than that, everything is pleasant as lipstick and there's a bird in the staircase, shifting about in icicles and sherry.
     The light is incidental to the convulsion as the magenta is healing a book with its old stick and philosophy. No desire is without its pound of blob and passion aswirl in the blood, a loop in the birth of an apricot, any available orchard where the moonlight completes its shine on the memory kettle.
     This passage is my next bitumen. I'm abandoning the pipes. The emotion is Pythagorean that seeds birch by the asphalt. I twinkle at the shale. My hand is there, reaching for altitude. I say this with chrome in my heart and a song in my popcorn. We all have problems. It's that mine seem, I don't know, cuddly when I hug them with all eight tentacles.
     The sky is our bean, our metal swelled into purity. This is where the air flows, where the foghorn blows, where the agates become toupees for the heads of the carpenters, all of them ghostly in their hairpin gloom.
     The reason for plywood is obvious: the bandages in Bohemia are sewn by haberdashery malcontents and need a little extra adhesion. It all turns banana eventually. I like enkindling relationships with a kind look and a chisel. The pickle within is a radical approach to winter. A development has been treading here all along, its shadow punched into meaning like a cramp. We can get through this together. But if we don't, take an enigma with you.
     A wrestler has only so many curls. You can't waste your trousers on a scrutiny, not when your brain is about to burst into garrulity. I think I'll let the prepositions occur naturally, beside the old-timey phonograph, a jabbering of words provided with enough melody to make a text get wet with the high sticks of indecision and the short sticks of sugar.
     The wild stems of the pillow start a forest in my head. I find pearls for the chicken whistles and undertake an acute way to swim the upcoming channels, the field of variegated winds, where all the conversations happen, and the laughter is frank by the fire.

Throbbing Blobs of Pseudopodia

What happens when words fail the intensity of one's feelings? The glitter of proverbs in a warehouse of the heart speaks to the parsimony of the spleen. The universe tastes like energy. These are but the rags of passion. It's why I wear a slice of thunder around my neck. There's a great pleasure in pulling it over my head. I hear everything going on in the sky. I hear the pull of wings and the hectic winds of a coming storm. I push emotions into words, but they just sit there, throbbing blobs of pseudopodia on the outskirts of a little town in Nevada. I've got the skin of an old man. Sometimes a simple conversation succeeds when a fight only leads to more havoc.
     Words go through my eyes making my thoughts fat and glittery. I think of water. I think of soap. There's so much sloshing when I do this that the whole reason gets sewn in gold thread, which leaves me feeling weighty and a trifle oligarchic. Is it a good feeling? I don't know. I don't know how to describe feelings anymore. There are so many of them. Even my intestines get confused. The architecture of liberty is convoluted. Emotions sparkle with the catastrophe of existence, wet and heavy as the Spanish spoken by a wheeze of wallpaper. Don't tease the toad. The toad is thought incarnate. It must hop where it wants, gain favors from the infinitives of consciousness.
     Lately, I've become fascinated by noses, how shapely they are, what wonderful organs, basic in their utility, yet aesthetically centered on the face, two little holes for the ingress and egress of air, rimmed with the subtle curves of the nostrils, protruding unobtrusively into space with a prominence that is both eager and modestly outgoing. The nose goes before our face, announcing the loveliness of air, the rhythms of breath, which sometimes the mouth assumes, companion to the nose, inhabiting a place just below, opening to say something, or staying closed and letting the nose do its thing, that bundle of skin, that knot of membrane, sniffing & sneezing, a troika loaded with pineapples and salt, fragrances of almond in consonants like tongs.
     The wind has something to teach us about materialism. And why. Why is pain necessary? It gives doctors something to do and provides vagaries for our physics. Did I hear Raymond Roussel enter the room? Early in life, heaven is everywhere. Later in life, heaven is a warm coat in a winter storm. I approve of the funny weariness I've become. Experience agrees to its journey, the steam from this morning's kettle notwithstanding. What happens when you mix the color blue with ecstasy? Sparrows bring twigs to the dead. A compilation of swords illumines the halls of Valhalla. They say the elevator at the Heartbreak Hotel is haunted. Should that be a surprise? This is life in the Wild West. An old Chevron gas pump in a Santa Monica coffeehouse.

John Olson is originally from Minnesota, and now lives in Seattle. He is the author of numerous books of prose, poetry, and prose poetry, including Dada Budapest, Larynx Galaxy, and Backscatter: New and Selected Poems. He is also the author of four novels, In Advance of the Broken Justy, The Seeing Machine, The Nothing That Is, and Souls Of Wind, which was shortlisted for a Believer Magazine Book Award in 2008. A new collection of prose poetry, Weave of the Dream King, is due out soon from Black Widow Press.

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